Monday, July 7, 2014

For Those Who Missed It...

A few weeks ago, I made a guest appearance on Radio Misterioso with Greg Bishop and, for the first time publicly anywhere, I revealed what happened when I attempted to find a record supporting my theory about Etta Place. The theory is that she was a field asset for the US Secret Service between 1899 and 1915 when I argue that she died in San Bernardino and was buried under the name 'Cora Stanton'. The results of my document search are rather curious.

On May 14th, 2013, I made a telephone call to the US Secret Service in Washington DC and spoke with an archivist there. I prefer not to provide his name here as he is a private citizen. I inquired how I could request any documentation on Etta Place, specifically mentioning that I was seeking to determine whether she was an asset or source or in any way affiliated with the Service. The archivist instructed me to send him an email with the details of my request. He also stated that he may not be able to disclose the information if it is there. I considered the implication of what he said and wondered why this would still be a secret after 98 years, as I followed up with the email requesting a search of the name Etta Place and a few others relative to my investigation.

On May 24th, 2013, I sent a follow up email just to check on the progress of the search. I received no reply to this email.

The following week, I traveled to Montana with Joseph Farrell to be interviewed for a television show. Still no reply after my return

On June 14, 2013, I sent another follow up query. I received an answer the same day in which the archivist reported that the search turned up negative -- and then he recommended a specific Secret Service file located at the National Archives and provided a link to them. Interesting that his search turned up nothing, yet he was referring me to an old file at the National Archives.

So I contacted the US National Archives and made an inquiry into the specific file. On July 1st, 2013, I received an email from an Archives Technician Level 2 identifying herself as the archivist assigned to my inquiry. In that email, she asked me if I had an associate pull the file for me because someone had pulled it that very day. I replied that I had no associate.

I next received a telephone call from this National Archives archivist who left a message with her phone number and I called her the next day. On July 2nd, 2013, this archivist informed me that she had been out of the office on leave for nine days and upon returning found my inquiry assigned to her. When she went to pull it, it was already pulled -- and was being searched by someone in the office that very day. The reason she thought I may have sent the person is that said person told her he was sent by someone in California, the state where I live. Federal law prevents her from identifying that person but she said it was very odd due to the obscurity and age of the file materials. She said it surprised her that anyone would be there on the very same day she was to pull it for me. This archivist also told me that the file wasn't very big and would only take a couple of hours or so to go through, though they are given ten days to fulfill the search query. She then informed me how to format my request for her to search the file for Etta Place, et al. I sent her an email with the names I needed searched, Etta Place at the top of the list.

Thirteen days later, on July 15th, 2013, I sent a follow up email to the archivist. Remember, they have ten days and I gave an extra three. I received no reply.

Seven days later, on July 22nd, 2013, I receive a short email from the archivist. She says she has been out of the office due to an "acute illness" and will continue to work my inquiry.

On August 1st, 2013, I sent a follow up, asking if she was finding anything. The next day, August 2nd, she says she might have found a couple of names relative to my list, but one is too far off and neither are Etta Place (This small lead is still being followed up, at this time). She sent another short email on the same day saying she is going to check another entry.

On August 7th, 2013, the archivist emails me to say she has perused the file further and asks if I have dates for letters of interest. However, a little later on the same day she emails me again to inform me that I will need to come into their office or hire a researcher because the file inquiry is too big for them to fulfill. This in contrast to what she originally said on the phone about it not being very big. The next day, in response to my thanking her for making the effort and that I would consider the hired researcher option, she sent me a link to a list of approved researchers the Nat'l Archives recommends. I replied regarding some administrative stuff.

On August 9th, 2013, the archivist again explains the file query is too large for them to fulfill and that I'll need to travel to their office or send a researcher. She closes by saying she is closing my case, apologizes for not being able to help, and wishes me luck.

In October, I inquired about ordering a copy of the file and ended up ordering 46 pages from the file, none of which contained the name Etta Place or any others I requested. So I attempted to order more in January.

On January 8th, 2014, I received an email from a different archivist, this one a PhD in a different division and she informed that I would have to go into their office because making copies of pages which I would be paying for was now unavailable to me. Whereas a couple of months prior they had no problem copying 46 pages at my cost and sending them to me (at my cost), they now would not even do that for me. I was told to either visit their office or hire a researcher. Hmmmmm.

Being an experienced investigator, I went back to the clerk who had assisted me with the 46 pages already received. But instead of receiving a reply from her, I received an email on Jan9th, 2014, from the Supervisory Archivist again telling me that I would have to go back there or hire a researcher. He stated he would personally assist with the query back there. He even sent a photo of the file itself. This included an exchange between us in which he suggested it would be a waste of time to just request random pages to which I replied that, as a former federal agent and a working PI, I have learned that no file search is ever really a waste of time. In the end, I would have to go back there or send someone.

Ultimately, I sent a trusted associate from my national security days. He conducted a search of the file and found no document containing reference to the name Etta Place.

This was the result almost a year after the mysterious researcher 'sent from California' got to the file before I did. I must emphasize that I told no one except Sesh Heri and Joseph Farrell of my inquiries to the Secret Service and the National Archives until they were initiated. The only way anyone from California could have sent someone to get to that file before me -- in any way relative to my investigation -- would be if someone knew what I was onto or my phone had been tapped. Another possibility is simply that another California based researcher happened to need that same file and it was all just a big coincidence. My professional opinion is that there is a very likely chance that documented reference to Etta Place was removed from the file by the 'researcher' sent from 'California'.

Before you decide what happened, I must reveal that before I even pursued the Etta Place theory and wrote EOW2 I had very good reason to suspect what I would find. I cannot reveal the source, but I argue the data provided in EOW2 supports my theory sufficiently enough for present discussion. In the meantime, I am continuing the investigation as I am convinced that Etta Place lies buried in San Bernardino under the name 'Cora Stanton'. IF I am right, the big question remains: The archivist at Secret Service HQ told me that he might not be able to disclose it if Etta Place is in the files.Why, after nearly 100 years, would it be classified that Etta Place had been an asset for the US Secret Service?

EOW2 just might provide the answer after all.


  1. Hi Walter! Very glad you wrote this up here, i heard this on your Radio Misterioso interview and it's veerrrrry interestink (in case you enjoyed Laugh In as a little kid as did i).

    I've been on a bit of a Bosley-binge of podcasts this past week, and a couple more synchs/convergent themes have popped up. First, When i heard that you met Al Watkins, mage of the old straight track himself, at a carousel it just added to my Tilden Carousel synch. As i mentioned i spent one Easter at the Tilden Carousel with a friend who plotted with me to start East Bay Earth Mysteries - a periodical focused on ley lines which we never got off the ground.

    re: Wineville Chicken Coop Murders. My mom retired over a decade ago, and moved up to Napa (county seat of Napa Co, the world-famous wine growing region). She now lives in a bungalow which she bought from a winemaker and his wife. The wife grew a lot of fruit and veggies and also kept a number of chickens in the back - 6 at that time. When my mom made an offer on the house, she and my husband were worried about the fate of the chickens - the wife informed mom they'd be destined for the pot. But mom said she'd be happy to keep the chickens herself, so they came along with the house and avoided domesticated bird murder!

    Walter, i would be reluctant to speak of these strange connections to most people, however you've been forthcoming enough about your own experiences and your own reactions to them that i feel you won't think i'm a kook (ha! and there you'd be wrong ;) or that i'm self-centeredly obsessing over meaningless coincidences. My own take on all this runs along these lines: first, that certain centres of place/event/time periods just generate/accumulate these type of synchs. So anyone who puts prolonged attention towards any of these 'sinks of synchs' will notice of become involved in these synchronicities. Second, that a person who has deep ties to the time/place of these 'synchronicity sinks' will tend to become involved in/notice/generate more symchronicities. In this case, my family comes from the area surrounding the Dellchau/NYMZA events back at least three generations on my dad's side, on my mom's back thousands of years, so there would be the link.

    If you have any time i'd be fascinated to hear any of your thoughts on how certain 'topics' seem to pop out in synchs all over. I'm going to get EOW2 as soon as i can make certain that i'll be able to download it to my phone as well as my desktop computer (so i can read it in bed on my phone and pull the covers over my head when it gets too scary!!)

    Have a great day! steph

  2. I intend to reply intelligently when I'm more alert. I just read this and want to discuss but am exhausted. I shall return. :

  3. Hey Walter nice to hear from you! no rush, i figure you are a grown up with responsibilities and know how to prioritize :) I hope you get a good rest.

    re: Godwin's Hidden Hand theory, the most accessible intro is in Gary Lachmann's book on Madame Blavatsky, chapter 5. I'm going to try to get my hands on some more material on this, if i do i'd be happy to send it along as i'm finding it's not easy to get a hold of.

    re: May Quirk my addy is pygmyowl at sbcglobal dot net when you have a 'mo'. And i am thinking to look around to see if there's any spelunking clubs around the Gold Country area as they could be a good resource for cave locations around the Rosasco ranch. As i said above, my dad is a big-time claustrophobe so we never toured any caves growing up though we camped near many in the gold country. I've been down a couple open to tours as an adult, they are incredibly beautiful.

    This is way north of Sonora but along highway 49 (the same geological system), but up in Volcano you can find the Masonic Caves - here's a link to the google search:

    Apparently the local lodge held meetings in the more accessible levels! Had to include that seeing as you're a Mason, a couple of older gentlemen who were very influential in my life were dedicated, long time Masons so no worries ;)

    take care and hope you are feeling bright eyed and bushy tailed again soon! steph